Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A Story From Kansas History. Antonio Jose Chavez.
Chavez, Antonio Jose, was a Mexican merchant engaged in trade between Santa Fe and the United States. In Feb., 1843, he left Santa Fe with 5 servants, 2 wagons, 55 mules, some $10,000 or $12,000 in specie and gold bullion, and a small lot of furs. Owing to the early season, the Santa Fe trail was in bad condition and he was compelled to abandon one of his wagons. About April 10, while encamped on the Little Arkansas river, near the boundary between Rice and McPherson counties, he was robbed by 15 men claiming to be Texan troops, under the command of John McDaniel. After the booty was divided amounting to some $400 or $500 each of the party separated, part of the men starting back to the settlements. Those who remained behind killed Chavez and found a considerable sum in gold concealed on his person and about the wagon. His body and all his effects were thrown into a ravine, the plunder packed on some of Chavez's mules and the party then set out for the States. A posse of citizens from Jackson county, Mo., led by George Buchanon, sheriff" of the county, met the gang near Council Grove and captured several of the men. As the crime was not committed in Missouri the malefactors were turned over to the Federal authorities. In the trial which ensued three of the men were found guilty of murder and hanged, and the others were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.